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Old 10-11-2013, 04:18 PM   #1
carogray
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Tables of Contents

We have a number of non-fiction Guides to Benefits for lay advocates that we are producing as e-books for a variety of e-readers.

We offer these guides in HTML/webpages, print and downloadable PDF files - really in as many ways as they can be useful to social workers who are doing the best they can to help.

I am wondering whether in addition to the ebook table of contents that we can generate automatically using the various ebook conversion software, we should also include a second table of content that is true to the PDF and print tables of contents - i.e. people can look up what would be the page number in a print copy?
I am wondering if there is any point to have 2 Tables of Contents in these Guides.

I cannot find any officiall authoritative reference even discussing this question let alone making any recommendation - where can I go to find out "best practice"


To see an example of the Guides we do - http://www.masslegalhelp.org/income-...ts/advocacy/ea

Thanks for any input,
Caroline
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:20 PM   #2
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If anyone prints out the PDF file, then a standard table of contents that is printed as well would be useful. However, when you pull up a table of contents on most ereaders, it is the bookmarks that are displayed. So, I would say that both are necessary.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:06 PM   #3
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You cannot include preset bookmarks in any ebook that I am aware of. A table of contents is something else again.
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Old 10-11-2013, 06:19 PM   #4
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You cannot include preset bookmarks in any ebook that I am aware of. A table of contents is something else again.
Okay, now I understand what the OP was getting at. I was confused because I thought they were still referring to PDF files (where two "tables of contents" make sense). The question is whether a table of contents with PDF page numbers within the actual visible contents of an EPUB or MOBI file is advisable. I can't think that this would be too useful, since they can get the chapter/section in the EPUB/MOBI, and just look that up within the table of contents of the PDF/printed version.
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Old 10-11-2013, 08:44 PM   #5
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I think the TOC with PDF page numbers would be useful if there are very many 'see page x' references in the guide. A better way to write the guide would be to reference chapter/section but if that would require extensive rewriting then including a cross-reference (i.e. TOC with PDF page numbers) might help. I think I'd include that as an index though, not really a TOC.
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Old 10-11-2013, 11:19 PM   #6
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Other then PDF, page numbering a ToC is useless. It also looks silly. I've seen it in some ePub and it makes no sense at all and is incorrect as well.

Also, if you are creating ePub, you don't need an HTML ToC as long as you have a proper NCX ToC.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:00 AM   #7
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I agree with Jon. ToCs with page numbers in an ebook look ridiculous and don't work, and (I suggest) would lessen the reader's respect for the publisher because they look ridiculous and don't work.

I doubt that too many people would use both the pdf and the ebook version - they'd use one or the other.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:29 PM   #8
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I agree with Jon. ToCs with page numbers in an ebook look ridiculous and don't work, and (I suggest) would lessen the reader's respect for the publisher because they look ridiculous and don't work.
First, there are e-readers that just count pages using the current font settings, and they assume that one screen is one page. In that case, page numbering works very well.

Second, when using Calibre, it's possible to use the Count Pages plugin, setting it to your preferred way of counting, and when you sent your book, the TOC is numbered; and it's numbered correctly. One "page" does not have to be one screen. Amazon has this same feature on some books as well.

I actually like the second option a lot. With the page length set to 2400 characters, the Page Count plugin generates page numbers that are very comparable to a normal paperback. It gives me a good sense how big the ebook would be if I'd read it in paper.
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Old 10-12-2013, 02:40 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by AlexBell View Post
I agree with Jon. ToCs with page numbers in an ebook look ridiculous and don't work, and (I suggest) would lessen the reader's respect for the publisher because they look ridiculous and don't work.

I doubt that too many people would use both the pdf and the ebook version - they'd use one or the other.
Do you have a suggestion for a replacement? Chapter/sections won't work IMO, not detailed enough. Word count would work technically but just seems too clumsy IMO. Maybe count in thousands of words? Problem is we don't have a good name for that measurement. Go to word 102594 just doesn't work for me. Go to (whatever we call it) 102 does but we need a name. Or another suggestion.
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Old 10-12-2013, 04:19 PM   #10
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Sony Readers do have the page numbers when you view the NCX ToC for ePub. I don't know if other ADE based Readers do this.
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Old 10-12-2013, 09:49 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
Second, when using Calibre, it's possible to use the Count Pages plugin, setting it to your preferred way of counting, and when you sent your book, the TOC is numbered; and it's numbered correctly. One "page" does not have to be one screen. Amazon has this same feature on some books as well.

I actually like the second option a lot. With the page length set to 2400 characters, the Page Count plugin generates page numbers that are very comparable to a normal paperback. It gives me a good sense how big the ebook would be if I'd read it in paper.
I'm pretty sure the TOC numbering is for Kindles only. There is an option for it on the driver configuration. And it is independent of the Count Pages plugin. But, it is a good way to get an idea of how long a books is.
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Old 10-13-2013, 09:52 AM   #12
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The driver can use the numbers generated by Count Pages, as well as count on its own.
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Old 10-13-2013, 11:14 PM   #13
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The driver can use the numbers generated by Count Pages, as well as count on its own.
I should have read all the options. One of them is to specify a column to pull the total pages from. That's a good idea and it sounds like it works well.
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Old 10-23-2013, 12:08 PM   #14
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I think I didn't communicate the question clearly enough.

Our audience/readers is comprised of low income clients, lay advocates and attorneys. Some people have computers, some e-readers and some just use the printed version of the books.

If we are in a meeting and someone has an ereader, someone else has downloaded the PDF version of the book to their tablet - some people are used to PDF files and reluctant to try new things and some people only have printed books, if we all want to discuss a certain question we can either simply say See Question 53 or, we can say go to Page 158 in the printed book - this way every one can end up in the same place.

Remember in High School when it was possible to get different copies of the same book and Chapter 13 was on a different page number in every edition of the book? This was what I was asking about. So turn to page x would not get everyone to the same place, if the TOC for the printed book were an appendix then people with e-readers would know where to find the information that people with PDF and printed versions were mentioning.

This was the nature of my question.

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Old 10-23-2013, 01:14 PM   #15
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If you are looking to make different editions (paper, epub, pdf, etc) have the same page numbers, then you're on a futile quest. It's not possible.

The closest you can get is "Go to <insert chapter name>" or "Go to part <name of part> in chapter <name of chapter>", and everyone has to look for the fastest way to switch to that chapter and part using their specific edition.
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